I wrote this post in 2009. For my updated take on all this Christmas cheer, check out my piece An Open Letter About Holiday Letters on Mom.me
Yes, I’m back! After spending a fall with lots of blogging, Facebook and working on a lot of other writing projects, I needed a bit of a break. Part of it, was that I was feeling a little overexposed, especially after a BlogHer post from another bloggers had me wondering whether I was causing my children to need (even more) therapy when they’re adults. The other thing was, I was just tired of writing. Tired of the sound of my own voice and the things I had to say. Sort of like being on a long drive with someone and after a couple of hours, you’ve learned about each other’s life stories, likes and dislikes, etc… and you’re ready to just turn up the stereo and enjoy the scenery.
This Christmas, I don’t feel the need to put together the usual holiday letter. As much as I love hearing the achievements and anecdotes of my friends’ lives, I’m not sure what new material I would have to share about our lives. Everyone’s already seen my vacation pictures and know whether I made it to school dropoff on-time or not, and how many cups of coffee I’ve consumed each day.
My seven-year old’s elementary school put on a fundraiser this year, where the kids painted pictures in class, which was sent in to a company which printed up very professional glossy cards. My boy had the good sense to create a holiday scene with the message ‘Happy Christmas’. I promptly ordered a bunch, happy to do a good deed and take care of my seasonal greetings at the same time. Then, as I opened the package and was faced with all that white space inside the cards (they didn’t even come with a standard printed greeting), my fingers started to itch. I could just type up a letter real quick, print it on small paper and glue one to the inside of each card. Or… I could just write a sentence or two to each family. It feels so — I don’t know— high school yearbook-ish? At first, the words seemed rather stamped on:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
But as I finished each card and started another, I thought about what had happened in each of my recipients’ lives, who I had debated with over attending the class reunion, who we visited for the first time in years, and who we are long overdue to catch up with. And, of course, I wrote every riff on the Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s theme. Some of them aren’t even done yet. But what it boils down to is this: instead of making my Christmas card about me, I am prompted in some small way to stop and think about my friends and the many things I have to be thankful for.